Contextualising COVID-19: Sociocultural Perspectives on Contagion
Lupton, D. and Willis, K. (2021) (eds) The COVID-19 Crisis: Social Perspectives. London: Routledge.
19 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2020 Last revised: 3 Mar 2021
Date Written: July 27, 2020
To fully understand the sociocultural implications of the COVID-19 crisis, it is important to be aware of the substantial body of research in sociology, anthropology, history, cultural geography and media studies on previous major infectious disease outbreaks. This chapter ‘sets the scene’ by providing this context with an overview of the relevant literature. The perspectives offered by social histories, political economy perspectives, social constructionism, Foucauldian theory, risk theory, postcolonial and sociomaterial approaches are explained and examples of research using these approaches are provided. Analyses of the COVID crisis should acknowledge and build on this extensive body of work, taking inspiration from the valuable insights that are offered and working to contextualise the current pandemic within its frameworks.
Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, epidemic, infectious disease, social perspectives, history
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